Brand-new Oliver ran and carved his way through the Ohio University defense and into the University at Buffalo record books once again.
It’s been a trend lately: Give the ball to the senior tailback as much as possible to trigger an avalanche downhill for a blowout win. This time it was a personal best 249 yards for Oliver, the most in UB’s FBS history, as the Bulls romped over the Bobcats, 30-3, Tuesday night at UB Stadium.
“What’s special about Bo is he got in front of the team before the game and shared his experience and his upbringing and where he’s placed his faith and belief,” UB coach Jeff Quinn said. “That’s a big part of who he is as a young man and it comes out in the way he plays.”
Oliver has 1,123 rushing yards for the season to become the second player in UB history to have two 1,000-yard seasons, the other is current Green Bay Packers running back James Starks. Oliver broke Starks’ career rushing mark on Oct. 19 against Massachusetts when he gained 216 yards.
Now, Oliver is trying to put the record out of reach.
“We knew the more we handed the ball off to Bo, there was always going to be a moment in the game where we are going to take control,” Quinn said. “It was just that feeling with the O-line and Bo that we were becoming more in control of the football game.”
Even during the game, quarterback Joe Licata becomes a fan which is a no-no for quarterbacks coach Don Patterson.
“It’s a lot of fun to watch but sometimes I get in trouble for watching,” Licata said. “Coach Patterson wants me to carry out my fakes which is hard when Bo makes people miss like that because I just want to hand off the ball and watch him. It’s great handing off the ball to him.”
Since missing the Stony Brook game on Sept. 14 with an injury, Oliver has run for 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns the last six games. It’s not a coincidence the Bulls are 6-0 during that span.
“God has done an awesome job and it’s a beautiful thing when you can’t take credit for it,” Oliver said. “You know that His hand is upon you so He’s just blessing me and opening doors and I just want to keep running through them.”
Oliver scored two of those touchdowns in this one to help the Bulls cruise to victory. He scored from 2 yards out to break a scoreless tie in the second quarter. Oliver’s second TD, a 13-yarder, followed a controversial safety call against Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton early in the third quarter and gave UB 16-3 advantage.
This wasn’t any old defense Oliver sliced up — the Bobcats rank third in the MAC against the run.
“He’s a top running back, he’s got great quickness and he’s low to the ground,” Ohio coach Frank Solich said. “He’s got great balance, he keeps driving but he’ll make you miss and if you don’t sellout and make clean tackles on him he’s going to make big yards. He can make you look bad and you need to get a lot of people around the ball and you need to have a lot of people getting hits on him.”